This site is the final resting place of Josiah Bushnell Grinnell (1821-1891), in Hazelwood Cemetery, Grinnell, Iowa. J. B. Grinnell, who began his career as a Congregational minister, was a passionate abolitionist from his youth, and an active participant in the Underground Railroad. The town which he founded in 1854 embodied Grinnell's commitment to abolition, and while J. B. usually obeyed the government, he was a conscientious breaker of the Fugitive Slave Law. He used his influence, his home, and wool barn to aid escaping slaves in their quest for freedom. Believing slavery to be evil, he welcomed the famous radical, John Brown to Grinnell in the winter of 1859 as he fled Kansas, bringing with him a party of guards and twelve fugitives. Humans and weapons were housed in Grinnell's home, his wool barn and a local hotel. None of these sites remain in existence. His home, located on Park Street, deteriorated, was moved to Broad Street and eventually torn down in 1984.Therefore, the Grinnell gravesite, situated on land he donated to the town, overlooking the community named for him, is the best place to commemorate his involvement in the Underground Railroad.
Hazelwood Cemetery is open to the public seven days a week during daylight hours.
Visitor Information: Currently open to public.
Location: 200 First Avenue, Grinnell, Poweshiek, 50112
National Park Unit: No
Ownership: City of Grinnell
Location Type: Site
UGRR Operatives: J. B. Grinnell
Religious Denominations: Congregational